Tax Investigations

Tax Investigations, Settlements & Voluntary Disclosures

Investigations by HMRC are becoming more common, are increasingly time consuming, costly and stressful. Having the support of experts in all investigatory areas is therefore essential.

The UK Governments continuing focus on the tax gap arising due to perceived tax evasion has led to an increase in tax investigations that can cover any aspect of your business or personal tax affairs, with complex enquiries that often cover a range of tax issues at any time including:

Business specific

  • HMRC checks including Corporation Tax, PAYE, National Insurance and VAT

Personal specific

  • HMRC personal related compliance checks including Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax

Business and Personal

  • Technical disputes with HMRC relating to single issues
  • Formal enquiries dealt with at local or regional HMRC level
  • Special investigations where HMRC’s Special Investigations office is involved
  • Tax avoidance schemes
  • HMRC voluntary disclosure opportunities

How we can help

Having the right support can ease the burden when you’re faced with an intrusive tax enquiry. Taylorcocks have tax advisers with experience of all types of HMRC investigations so that you can be confident that any additional taxes and penalties are correctly calculated.

Our prices are competitive and we will do our upmost to ensure that our professional fees are fair and reasonable.

Our services include:

  • Advice and meetings with yourself
  • Attending meetings with HMRC on your behalf
  • Negotiating with HMRC and working to reach a fair and final settlement, including reducing penalties where possible
  • Negotiating a reasonable and affordable payment period

Special investigations (fraud and avoidance)

The Fraud and Avoidance section of the Specialist Investigations directorate of HMRC carries out investigations under the COP 8 procedure in all cases where the Civil Investigation of Fraud procedures (COP 9) are not used.

If HMRC suspect that there has been a deliberate attempt to pay less than the correct amount of tax, or to take advantage of a scheme or device to reduce or eliminate a tax liability, they will investigate the matter thoroughly. Under COP 8, their objective is to achieve a financial recovery of any tax, interest and penalties owed. Whilst this is not undertaken with a criminal investigation in mind, if they suspect or find evidence of serious fraud, they may take action under COP 9 or instigate criminal proceedings.

HMRC recommend that anyone under COP 8 investigation should consider instructing a professional adviser. At taylorcocks, we have wide experience of these investigations and will be able to support you throughout the process, by attending meetings with HMRC and helping you to prepare the information that they require to resolve their enquiries. Our aim is to ensure that the investigation is brought to a rapid conclusion. If we can help you to demonstrate that there is nothing wrong with your tax affairs, the matter will be closed without further consequence. Should HMRC substantiate their case, we will endeavour to mitigate any interest and penalties levied.

We can also represent you at the independent tribunal if you decide to appeal HMRC’s decision.

COP 9 tax investigations

If you have been issued with a COP 9 notice it is because HMRC suspect you of serious tax fraud. COP 9 investigations are intrusive and time consuming and can become stressful if they aren’t managed properly. We are Code Of Practice 9 specialists with 20 years of experience dealing with HMRC investigations and we can help guide you through the process.

What are COP 9 investigations?

COP 9 investigations are opened when HMRC suspect serious tax fraud. HMRC can go back as far as 20 years to reclaim tax and COP 9 investigations are only opened when HMRC expect to reclaim taxes in excess of £75,000 and often as much as £500,000. COP 9 investigations are civil investigations but failure to comply can result in a criminal investigation and prosecution.

Under Code Of Practice 9, individuals are given immunity from prosecution in exchange for a full and complete disclosure of all irregularities in their personal tax affairs via the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF).

CDF Key Points:

Under the CDF HMRC agree not to criminally investigate and prosecute you over the fraud you disclose in the CDF contract. In return you must:

  • Respond within 60 days, failure to do so will be treated as you declining the offer to disclose. A tax investigation will be opened and you will no longer be immune from prosecution
  • Tell HMRC about all the tax you have evaded, with no exceptions
  • Sign a statement to say that you have provided accurate and complete details of the tax evasion
  • Pay all taxes, duties, interest and penalties due
  • Stop any evasion immediately

Where individuals decide to co-operate with HMRC, they will normally be invited to complete a Disclosure Report which will contain:

  • a brief business history
  • a description of all tax irregularities (including any innocent or careless errors) and how these were carried out
  • quantification of all the irregularities
  • information to show how you quantified the irregularities and ensured that nothing had been missed
  • summaries of tax and/or duties, interest and penalties due
  • a reconciliation of the irregularities with the summary of tax and/or duties
  • a certified statement of your worldwide assets and liabilities
    certificates of bank accounts and credit cards operated

HMRC encourage those under COP 9 investigation to appoint a professional adviser to guide them through the process and negotiate with HMRC on their behalf.

How we can help

Taylorcocks only employ tax advisers and Ex-HMRC inspectors with experience of COP 9 investigations. Our investigation specialists will:

  • prepare the Disclosure Report
  • attend meetings with HMRC on your behalf
  • negotiate and work to reach a fair and final settlement, including reducing penalties where possible.
  • negotiate a reasonable and affordable payment period
  • Fees – our prices are competitive and we will do our upmost to ensure that our professional fees are fair and reasonable